Female Hormones and Dental Health: What's the Connection?
Are your hormone levels impacting the health of your teeth? Your Alaska dentist says that there is a surprising connection between the two. From the impact of birth control to the side effects of pregnancy, if you’re a woman, there are a few things you need to know about hormones and your oral health.
Hormones and Dental Health
Hormones act as regulators within a woman’s body that help to regulate mood, growth, reproduction, and metabolism. Estrogen and progesterone are key in keeping a woman’s body in balance. As they work together, they often increase the flow of blood to the gums within the mouth; this is especially true during menstruation. Over time, this excess of blood can lead to inflammation. This sort of inflammation increases the risk for plaque to set in or for gum disease to develop. It’s vital that hormonal levels remain within healthy parameters to prevent tooth decay or tooth loss.
Some birth control pills contain high levels of estrogen and progesterone, causing an influx in blood flow throughout the body, including the gums. The risk for inflammation and other oral health issues is always higher when taking birth control. Not only is the risk for decay and gum disease higher, but dry socket could also occur. If a tooth extraction is necessary, and you’re taking birth control, studies suggest that you’re twice as likely to develop a painful oral health problem known as dry socket. This issue leaves your nerves exposed after an extraction and increases your risk of an infection.
Throughout a pregnancy, hormone levels are continually surging as the body begins to grow a baby. These excess hormones often lead to a myriad of dental issues. Pregnancy gingivitis, in fact, is just one of the common problems that women face throughout gestation. In some cases, this type of gingivitis can lead to benign tumors or other health related issues.
Throughout menopause, many women experience tooth sensitivity, dry mouth, or bone loss. Because a woman’s hormone levels are declining during this phase of her life, saliva production is often decreased. This could lead to dry mouth, decay, and gum disease, simply because saliva acts as a protective agent within the mouth. As the estrogen within the body continues to decrease, the loss of bone density is also common. Over time, this could lead to tooth loss.
There are many oral health issues that women can face throughout their lives simply due to the changing levels of their hormones. Whether you’re in the first trimester of pregnancy or the beginning stages of menopause, caring for your teeth should be a top priority. Brush and floss your teeth daily to prevent plaque buildup. If you notice any tenderness or sensitivity, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your Fairbanks dentist right away. Even if you don’t have any noticeable discomfort, it’s vital that you schedule examinations and cleanings at least twice a year. Whether you’re dealing with tooth pain or you’re overdue for a checkup, come visit the friendly and experienced staff at North Pole Dental Workshop today!